Music Library Masterpiece: Part 2

As my music library undertaking continues to get the better of me, I thought I’d post about a few things that have happened since I last wrote anything:

1: FLAC Vs. MP3 and CBR Vs. VBR

I have spent a lot of time reading about FLAC Vs. MP3 and come to the conclusion (with the help of GoldWave and some Bandstop filters) that I can’t tell the difference between an MP3 and a FLAC file, but let’s be clear here. When I say MP3, I don’t mean some tatty old 64 Kbps file that was thrown together the day MP3 was invented. I’m talking about an MP3 which was ripped from a FLAC file at VBR –V0 using LAME encoder.

Using the Bandstop in GoldWave and some research online, I found that the MP3 has audio data all the way up to about 20,000 Hz, which is the point at which all I start to hear is echoes  and silence which means that the extra 20MB of disk space occupied by the FLAC just isn’t worth it.

I used to rip all my old stuff in CBR 320 Kbps until I read an article online discussing the finer points of CBR Vs. VBR which lead me to realise that VBR –V0 gives the same if not better quality audio for smaller file sizes due to the variable element of it. What I think mislead me with VBR in the past is that a VBR –V0 file reports in Windows as the average bit rate of the track and not the maximum. A Texas song I have here for example shows itself as 266 Kbps but the waveform within the file proves it has the same info as the CBR 320 Kbps file.

2: Stereo Vs. Joint Stereo

It’s too complicated to go into here, but basically LAME encoder uses the better of two algorithms which means Joint Stereo  is as good as the forced stereo.

3: I think I hate Windows Media Player – Still undecided though

From my last post you will know I’m taking a lot of time to get the 500×500 px high resolution artwork for all my albums so that they will look delicious on my Zune and possibly Windows Media Center or Xbox in the future. To my disgust today, I noticed that a lot of my artworks are now 200×200 px and that a lot of the AlbumArtSmall_??????????????.jpg files have returned. My only assumption is that this is the doing of Windows Media Center when I re-added all my music to it for the purpose of streaming to the PS3.

Not impressed to say the least. Although the MP3’s have the 500×500 px versions embedded still, the folder.jpg version is still important. The next step is to re-apply the high resolution versions and then mark them as Read-Only to see if this stops Windows Media Player changing them.

Vista SideShow

SideShow has always been a feature of Windows Vista, however I’ve never used it because I’ve never had a SideShow enabled device and such device are few and far between unless you just go out and buy one without real purpose, until today.

Ok so in actual fact it’s a while ago, but I today discovered the CTP Windows Mobile SideShow Client which means Windows Mobile can be connected via Bluetooth to your Vista box and function as a SideShow device.

Meaning? You can do all sorts of things, some of which are kind of pointless in my opinion especially being that as it’s Bluetooth based your at most of 10m away from your PC, however some of it is quite cool.

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Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 Review

A few days ago I saw that Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 was being made publicly available so I thoguht I would give it a stab and see if Microsoft had done any good with this, because I personally feel that IE7 wasn’t released all that long ago and there wasn’t really much need for a new browser jsut yet.

After getting it installed which was a bit of a polava due to needing to install a patch for Windows XP which didn’t want to install straight up, I couldn’t see too much difference, except for the fact that half of the internet doesn’t work properly.

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